Burglar series by Lawrence Block, Random House
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© Vignelli Center for Design Studies (via the New York Times)
The original cover art for the first book, Burglars Can’t Be Choosers, shows Bernie Rhodenbarr carrying a yellow Bloomingdale’s bag, featuring a scribbled rendition of the iconic logo designed by Massimo Vignelli in 1972. (The OO ligature in the logo is echoed in Adelson’s title typography.) This detail is missing from the final version of the book jacket.
As it happened, the geniuses in Random House’s legal department made them strip “Bloomingdale’s” off the bag, because some twuit in editorial was silly enough to ask legal. (Like Bloomie’s would sue. Yeah, right.)
Between 1983 and 2004, six more books about Bernie Rhodenbarr were added, by another publisher, and without Schongut’s involvement. When Block self-published the eleventh book, he invited Schongut to do the cover illustration. The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons was published in December 2013, 36 years after the first book. The typography was done by Jaye Manus, using Moderna by Fontalicious.
Image: Emanuel Schongut